HBO entourage lets loose

Execs, talent mingle with journalists

HOLLYWOOD — HBO had little problem convincing holed-up critics to leave the BevHilton on Thursday night for the cabler’s swanky bash at the W Hotel in Westwood. Following the net’s afternoon panel, talk about upcoming programming, Emmys and whether “The Sopranos” ending will ever truly be understood were continued over lobster and steak, each cooked up on the barbie.

Both execs and talent mingled with journos. While toppers Richard Plepler and Michael Lombardo were grazing and discussing corporate strategy, more familiar faces such as the “Entourage” gang, Larry David of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and most of the cast of “John From Cincinnati” gave reporters material for their next blog posts. Andre Royo of “The Wire” and “Extras” funny lady Ashley Jensen were also there.

Unusual for a Hollywood party but certainly a welcome sight, a few of the soldiers depicted in James Gandolfini’s Iraq doc “Alive Day Memories” made the rounds and told their gripping stories. The vets’ presentation earlier in the day, with Gandolfini in hand, was highly charged and proved a heady change from the usual “I just love working with this group of actors” jargon heard every 20 minutes over the two-week confab.

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